(NIEER)/ Lakeshore: Early Learning Scale (ELS)

Informational sheet for NIEER/Lakeshore ELS
The Early Learning Scale (ELS) is an observation-based performance assessment. The ELS was developed by the
National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) in response to requests by educators for a comprehensive,
standards-based assessment system capable of informing instruction and making an impact on teaching and learning
without being overwhelming to teachers. Observations, anecdotal notes, and work samples are analyzed using a
research-based developmental trajectory, to provide teachers with a focused look at children’s development in the most
critical areas. The ELS can be used in any preschool classroom, with any curriculum and is appropriate for use with
ALL children.
What ages does the tool assess?
Ages 3 to 5 years.
What on-line tools are available?
The ELS online allows teachers to record observations with anecdotal notes, collect/document work samples and store
photographs to document children’s work and development. The online ELS gives teachers the flexibility of using a
smart phone or tablet to record observations off-line (if connectivity in the classroom is an issue) then upload them to
the system so observations will be automatically linked to items on the ELS. Teachers have the ability to create various
class reports to analyze data and run reports. Administrators have access to designated classrooms and can run
reports across classrooms/programs for data analysis as well.
How often are children assessed?
Children are assessed three times during the 9-month school year. This is generally every 90 days, but can be
adjusted to meet specific deadlines or to account for school vacations. If the children engage in an extended year, one
more score period for the summer months may be added.
What training options are available?
Contact information
ELS training can be delivered through in-person
professional development, online PD modules or a
combination of both (our recommended method). Training
includes the following areas:
• Rationale behind performance-based assessment
and thorough experience with the ELS
assessment process
• Learning how to observe children (Observing and
• Collecting effective and meaningful data
(Documenting and Reflecting)
• Scoring data against the developmental trajectory
(Analyzing and Evaluating)
• Using data to plan instruction (Hypothesizing,
Planning and Instructing)
An online, self-paced reliability module is part of the PD
process to ensure that teachers are well acquainted with
the instrument and scoring procedures.
Content/PD Inquiries:
Website addresses
www.lakeshorelearning.com (ordering info)
Effective 7/1/14 – 6/30/15
Peggy Walker, Manager, Lakeshore Learning Materials
([email protected])
Adam Wolff ([email protected]) Eastern
Pennsylvania Regional Manager
Matt Mignogna ([email protected])
Western Pennsylvania Regional Manager
All of the above can be reached at: 1-800-421-5354
NIEER/Lakeshore – Early Learning Scale Preschool
Assessment is developed by NIEER, published by
Lakeshore Learning Materials